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Opinions On Survival: Level 20

December 9, 2010

Alright, so I played last night on my hunter, and got him to level 20. First thing I want to say: Developers of Autobar, please add in support for the worgen racial, Running Wild. Great add-on, love it, recommend it to anyone… just now my mount keybind doesn’t work.

Now, on to the meat and potatoes, so to speak. What shots did I use? What spells worked? How did it play? So, to test out survival on a low level, I decided to queue up for a dungeon or three. I have to say that the new ones are so much better designed. I did Ragefire Chasm, the Deadmines, and Shadowfang Keep. There were quests guiding you through all of them and showing progression in all but Ragefire. Yay for holes in the ground? Anyway… I made a huge mistake, though. I entered the dungeon without a pet.

Arjac-Eyepatch

And they cut out my eye...

I was running around looking for pets, and I wanted a crab. I thought the ones near where you start out in Darkshore would work great for that… but silly me, they weren’t tameable. So, I went through RFC with nothing but my gun and my wits. It went reasonably well. Near as I could tell, I was the only guy with Heirlooms. Here I was thinking that everyone had them, but in all three groups, it didn’t look like that many players did. Anyway. So, I had to remember that Concussive Shot wouldn’t do much good in instances, so I put Serpent Sting back on my bar.

If you remember yesterday, I didn’t take the talents that put initial damage on Serpent Sting. So, I don’t really use it all that much in questing or in Battlegrounds. Yes, it is useful, and there are times where the DoT would have killed some opponents, but it takes up valuable focus. I’d rather have that to kite an enemy or lay down a hail of Explosive and Arcane Shots.

So, in terms of “rotation”, I would open with Hunter’s Mark (if it was going to be a boss or a mob with a large health pool) -> Serpent Sting -> Explosive Shot -> Arcane Shot -> Steady Shot x 2 and from there weave in what I had focus for. I used Kill Command as necessary (after getting a pet – more on that below), and things seemed to go well. I wasn’t really keeping track of DPS numbers (since that level it’s a little lopsided to try and measure), and I was more just practicing trying to find a good balance of focus usage and button presses. It feels like there will be some interesting timing things as I level up. I can’t imagine that you’re supposed to just hit buttons as fast as you can and then wait a bunch for focus.

A side note: Steady Shot is an interesting filler. Hunters have a lot of instant cast abilities, and the odd thing that happens while using Steady Shot is that you keep firing your ranged weapon. Well, that’s what it looked like anyway. It allows you to stand and regen without having to just… stand and regen. That’s a good design to me.

So RFC ends, and we queue and Deadmines pops up. Well, you get part of the way in, and tere are level 15 monkeys. So, I think, “Self, if you could have a pet monkey, would you?” The answer was yes. So, I tamed a monkey in Deadmines. It’s cute. It has a little pickaxe, and it makes monkey noises. So, hooray pet! I didn’t really pay much attention to him, since he had to level up while we were in there. I’m going to do a little more research on pet types and special abilities. I know that it isn’t relevant now, but it will be later.

Shadowfang Keep was more of the same, but the new quests are great. You’re working with a Worgen Specal Ops type team to take out the head of the keep, Lord Godfrey. Most of the boss fights are you chasing his lackeys down through the dungeon, and then you fight him. There were some interesting mechanics in the fights. You actually kind of have to pay attention now. One guy throws up a desecration type thing that the MDPS have to move out of with the tank, one guy throws around AOE’s, and Lord Godfrey shoots this gun thing that reminds me of the boss in the Oculus that has the electric field that you had to move out of. That one’s animation is a little whacky, though. I died to it, though I was no where near the animation.

I ended the night with a few rounds of Warsong Gulch. I promptly removed serpent sting from my bar, and replaced it with Concussive Shot. This helped slow incoming melee classes down. Ranged classes you have to deal with in a more interesting way.  It’s more like when you’re playing a Wargame and you have to draw Line of Site to models.  You can use the terrain to your advantage, or it can hinder your advance.  That’s how you have to deal with RDPS classes.  Disengage is like a backwards Blink, which is good and bad.  You have to know where you’ve been, and think about who’s behind you.  Sometimes, you get fucked by the terrain, and sometimes the terrain helps you.  I like the mechanic, and it’s fun when you disengage back into a pack of your buddies, but it’s equally frustrating when you die by disengaging into a pack of enemies.

However, Explosive Shot serves as a great way to pick folks off.  Killing enemies occurs in such a bursty way in battlegrounds, going for long protracted fights?  Good way for non-tank classes to get eaten alive.  So, a high focus/damage attack with a small DoT is a perfect way to slap folks around and maintain pressure while letting your pet close.  Arcane Shot and Kill Command make for a truck to run someone over with.  The problem is:  No way to deal with folks after that.  If I burn someone down, I need a few seconds, since casting time on Steady Shot isn’t helpful.  Hunters are built on moving around and killing things.  Insert an ability that causes you to stand still, but restores focus?  It makes for a hard choice.

So far, though, it works.  I think it will be fun, but I have to wait to get some traps to make use of the spec in the long run.  That should be soon, though.

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